Some of you were concerned with my post a few weeks ago about living with light and darkness. Surprisingly, it was the post that I was most concerned about posting, and the one that has receive the most feedback, hits and support. People I have not seen in a long time, called to see if I was okay, friends hubby’s messaged and reached out to me offering advice. I was overwhelmed by the love and support I have received for writing these feelings that I thought I had no right to have and that were stupid.
Very close friends said nothing. Some people asked what I have to be unhappy about.
Nothing. That is what feeling depressed is. I do have it all, and my rational mind tells me this. I have safe place to live by the beach, a loving partner and family, a meaningful job and my health. Regardless of this you feel like shit anyway. You know there are worse people off than you, but it is not a reasoning space that your brain is in.
All you can see is black.
When you realise you actually need help is when you don’t actually have much to feel unhappy about, but you feel unhappy anyway. Now, this is not a hey I feel a bit unhappy about (insert whatever it is that you think might be causing it) feeling.
It is a feeling that I can only describe like you wake up with a feeling in your gut like someone close to you has died. You wake up with a feeling of dread, a feeling that you can’t shake, a feeling that a coffee might lift for an hour, but a horrible feeling that is always there in the bottom of your stomach, no matter what action you take. It does not have a reason, you cannot justify it, it just exists. Little things that you would not ordinarily think about send you into a panic. You cannot concentrate, thoughts run away and you don’t know where time has gone.
Me being superwoman, I respond to this feeling by usually exercising 100 times a week, and then I cope also by throwing myself into every other activity known to man: work, writing, endurance goals, supporting and catching up with friends. I say YES to everything I possibly can, And I try to ignore that flat feeling inside, until I can’t ignore it anymore.
I hit rock bottom either by physical illness, panic, or fatigue.
Sometimes the best thing for me is to do nothing at all.
I am quick to dish out this advice instead of taking it for myself. I am a social worker for faaaks sake! I should know what to do.
I know what to do better than most people, but I don’t do it.
So this week, I enlisted the help of a ‘third party’, on the advice of some friends and The Husband. This has worked wonderfully for me in the past to help me gather my thoughts and reset my balance.
Some simple advice in my first session that helped me already feel lighter:
The baby question : if it is doing your head in why do have to answer it right now? you’re 32 not 35- Chill out and put it on the shelf for a year and live your own life the way you want. #sigh of relief
Work stress : EVERYONE has work stress, it is what you think is your threshold that matters. You can develop a ‘fire shield’ to survive in your current work place – or you need to find another job. Right now lets work on the fire shield before The Husband and I reach our three year plan. Additionally, as if by some miracle, on the day I got the help, was the same day my boss announced we would get a new team member to help with our workload! #hallelujah
Money issues: AGAIN everyone has them, but its sad that this is the only thing The Husband and I argue about and this is not uncommon for couples with a person who is freelancing. I feel like I never know when money is in or out, it’s not that there is not enough, I struggle with the uncertainty and payment regime. Some simple strategies like a monthly meeting could help with this, instead of letting thoughts run through my head like they are going around a race track when I am trying to sleep and then waking up The Husband in a state of panic to talk about it. Nothing can ever be resolved anyway in a frantic discussion at 10.30 at night whilst in a state of panic. #reasoning
So, life is already feeling a little lighter this week – and I look forward to next week and being on HOLIDAYS! Last week I wasn’t even excited about that. I will keep moving forward and working on that feeling, learning what I can change and what I can’t.